Good luck to Himig Handog finalists
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2014 - 12:00am

It is always heartening to come across projects that bring focus to Filipino music and make efforts to recreate those glorious days of the Manila Sound during the late ’70s. I do not know if we can ever duplicate those times. I do not know if we can ever find songs that can rival the massive impact that the songs from those days had on the public. Still, I am glad to say that it will not be for want of trying. And for all we know, the enduring compositions we are looking for might just be among the finalists of the Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs 2014.

The Himig Handog is the songwriting competition backed by ABS-CBN’s Star Records. It is now on its sixth year and has already shown a goodly harvest of uniquely Filipino love songs with the potential to transcend generations. Among these are Hanggang composed by Ronnie and Gigi Cordero; Kung Ako Na Lang Sana, Soc Villanueva; Bye Bye Na, Ted Reyes and Jeff Antiporda; This Guy’s In Love With You Pare, Michael Angelo Villegas and Allan Feliciano.  

This year’s Himig Handog competition will be held on Sept. 28 at the Araneta Coliseum. And these are the 15 finalists with their interpreters.

Hanggang Kailan composed by Jose Joel Mendoza sung by Angeline Quinto; Daniel Padilla will do Simpleng Tulad Mo by Meljohn Magno; Hindi Wala by Nica del Rosario sung by Juris; Akin Ka Na Lang by Francis Louis Salazar sung by Morisette Amon; Bumabalik Ang Nagdaan written by Sarah Jane Gandia and sung by Jessa Zaragoza; Dito by Raizo Brent Chabeldin and Biv De Vera and sung by Jovit Baldovino;  Halik Sa Hangin by David Dimagila performed by Ebe Dancel and Abra; If You Don’t Want To Fall by Jude Gitamondoc and performed by Jed Madela.

Mahal Kita Pero sung by Janella Salvador and composed by Melchora Mabilog; Mahal Ko O Mahal Ako by Edwin Marollano and sung by KZ Tandingan; Umiiyak Ang Puso by Rolando Azor and sung by Bugoy Drilon; Jugs and Teddy for Walang Basagan Ng Trip composed by Eric de Leon; Pumapag-ibig by Jungee Marcelo, sung by Marion Aunor featuring Rizza and Seed; Pare Mahal Mo Raw Ako by Jovinor Tan and performed by Michael Pangilinan; and Hazel Faith de la Cruz will interpret her own composition Everything Takes Time.

As those who closely follow music industry goings-on have surely noticed there are both contest veterans like Philpop grand prize winner Jungee Marcelo, last year’s Himig Handog winner Jovinor Tan for Anong Nangyari Sa Ating Dalawa as well as perennial finalists Edwin Marollano and Jude Gitamondoc in the list. But there are also new names, first timers making their initial bids as songwriters in the contest. I do not know how many entries Himig Handog generated this year. But I say that as long as there are young people around who feel inspired to put their feelings into song, dwindling sales notwithstanding, there will always be hope for a bright future for Filipino music.

Good luck to all the finalists. Only one among them will win the million-peso grand prize but as the times have shone, even non-winners get their opportunity to shine even after the contest night. If you want to make a big splash as a songwriter, a music competition is the way to do it. You become part of the big finals night, of the commemorative album and can be seen on TV, the Internet, the radio and everywhere else where exposure is possible. Excellent examples of great performing non-winners are Freddie Aguilar’s Anak which did not win anything at the first Metro Manila Popular Song Festival and Himig Handog’s very own Hanggang, which was interpreted in the finals by Wency Cornejo.

And to all those who tried their luck and sent song entries, may your tribe increase. You are the future of the Filipino music industry. Although the CD might draw its last breath soon, there is the Net, there are radio, films, television and all those other media ever in need of music. Admit it, things and I mean anything from prayer to merrymaking are always better with music. So formats and outlets may change but there will always be a need for music. In fact, the Himig Handog finalists’ album is now available both on the web with very good videos and in good old CDs.

 And to ABS-CBN and its Star Records, may there be a Himig Handog 2015, in 2016, 2017 and so on and so on in the future.

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